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D. Ferguson McNiel, III

D. Ferguson McNiel, III Partner, Commercial & Business Litigation

An accomplished lawyer with over 30 years of experience, Ferguson has a broad-based litigation practice. He has extensive trial experience in commercial, construction, product liability, toxic tort, and energy cases. His clients include Fortune 150 corporations and other major companies in a variety of industries, such as consumer products, pharmaceuticals, chemical, oil, manufacturing, and professional services. In construction, he has represented a number of architects and engineers in construction-related claims.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and is certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in the fields of Personal Injury Trial Law and Civil Trial Law. Ferguson also handles general negligence, contract, and statutory claims. Ferguson currently serves as a leader of V&E's Construction Practice Specialty.

Experience Highlights

  • Representing a pipeline company in an UNCITRAL arbitration arising out of the construction of a new gas processing plant in Canada
  • Representing a client in an AAA arbitration arising out of respondent’s engineering work in connection with the development of an underground storage facility in Brazil
  • Representing a company in a pending class action in Canada involving property damage
  • (Tex. Dist. − Harris Cnty.) — Representing a private equity company in a dispute involving a former investor in a portfolio company
  • Represented a Fortune 100 multinational consumer products company as its national trial counsel in vinyl chloride litigation in state and federal courts in a number of different states
  • Represented a major chemical company in agricultural product toxic tort cases involving approximately 25,000 non-U.S. workers who filed suit in various Texas state and federal courts; currently representing same company in similar cases filed by non-U.S. workers in Louisiana and Hawaii federal courts, and in the courts of the Philippines, Nicaragua and Panama; involved in similar cases dismissed from U.S. courts and then refiled in Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, The Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and St. Lucia, all of which were resolved by settlement

Commercial

  • (Del. Ch.) — Tried case on behalf of a racing company and an individual in an attempted dissolution of the corporation; the court found in favor of client
  • Represented a foreign manufacturer of wind turbines used in the generation of electricity
  • Represented a comprehensive provider of waste and environmental services in an attempt by various landowners to limit the use of a landfill

Construction/Professional Malpractice

  • Representing a major engineering firm against claims of negligence and misrepresentation pertaining to the evaluation of a chemical plant project in the state court of Texas
  • Represented a major EPC contractor in claims arising from the renovation of two Gulf Coast refineries
  • Represented the owner of a major arts facility in claims against the contractor
  • Represented a major engineering firm in professional malpractice litigation in Louisiana concerning the design and construction of a chemical plant
  • Represented a client of the firm’s energy regulatory section, in an advisory capacity, in a dispute arising during construction of a pipeline and in post-construction litigation

Product Liability

  • Represented a leading pharmaceutical company as Texas counsel in diet drug litigation filed by plaintiffs opting out of a related class action
  • Represented a major chemical company against claims filed in Texas by nationwide plaintiffs against multiple defendants for property damage resulting from defects in polybutylene plumbing systems; in four separate jury trials and one arbitration, only a small portion of the overall liability to plaintiffs was assessed against our client

Toxic Tort

  • Currently serving as trial counsel in the state of Texas for a major oil company in its asbestos litigation, representing a product manufacturer in asbestos cases throughout the state of Texas
  • Represented a major chemical company in 8,000 claims arising from alleged chemical emissions from a plant; the case was tried to a jury with a defense verdict for our client

Energy

  • Represented a major oil company involving claims of breach of contract, fraud, and misappropriation of trade secrets pertaining to leases in a South American country
  • Represented plaintiffs in two suits involving a West Texas wind farm project; in one suit, our client was the general contractor of the project seeking amounts owed under the wind tower construction contract; in the second suit, our client was a non-U.S. supplier of equipment suing a distributor for breach of contract and incidental damages arising from the defendant's failure to deliver equipment that the supplier then obtained at higher cost from alternative source

Contact Details

Houston

T +1.713.758.3882
F +1.713.615.5493
fmcniel@velaw.com
1001 Fannin Street
Suite 2500
Houston, TX 77002
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Ferguson's Practices

  • University of Arkansas, J.D., 1980 (Phi Delta Phi; Arkansas Law Review)
  • The University of Texas School of Law, 1978-1979 (Summer programs)
  • University of Arkansas, B.S.B.A. with honors, 1977 (Beta Gamma Sigma; 3-year letterman in baseball)
  • Admitted to practice: Texas; United States Supreme Court; Fifth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal; U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, Western, and Northern Districts of Texas
    • Chambers USA, Litigation: General Commercial (Texas), 2003–2018
    • Legal 500 U.S., Environment Litigation, 2008−2009; Construction, 2010−2017
    • Recognized as a "Top Lawyer" in Construction Law, Corporate Counsel (ALM), 2011
    • The Best Lawyers in America© (Woodward/White, Inc.), in Commercial Litigation, 2005−2017; in Construction Law, 2008−2011; in Construction Litigation, 2013—2017
    • Selected to the Texas Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2003−2017
    • Fellow: Texas Bar Foundation; Houston Bar Foundation
    • Member: Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, International Society of Barristers; American Board of Trial Advocates; International Association of Defense Counsel; American Bar Association; Texas Association of Defense Counsel; Defense Research Institute; Houston Bar Association